Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Short Bus

I have heard the jokes.  I just ignore them.  I am sure the people who told them weren't thinking.  I didn't see an advantage to making them feel bad.  They really don't understand.

The short bus is awesome!

Haley has been riding the short bus since 2001.  I was so grateful that the bus would be coming to our house to pick her up, taking her to school and then bringing her back to our house, not only because it would be convenient but because it would be safe. 

I did not like the idea of my baby getting on a great big bus full of great big kids.  Kids that did not understand or appreciate her.  The short bus has been a blessing.

Haley began preschool when she was two, but I always drove her.  I quit my full time job as an architect in 2000 and that was the year that big sister went off to morning kindergarten.  In 2001 both of my babies got on busses and headed off to full day school.  I was not ready for that.  I was a blubbering idiot most of the day.

Thinking back about the short bus I couldn't resist a walk down memory lane.  I have pictures of the first day of school for every year except 2003, we went on a cruise that year that coincided with the first week of school and I forgot to ask her grandparents to take a picture.

This is Haley getting on that BIG little bus for the first time.

This broke my heart.  I was glad that she was safely secured, she would have gotten up if she hadn't been, but my mommy mind was more worried that something would happen to the driver and she couldn't get out.

Haley has had some great bus drivers.  The first couple of years they would kind of scare me by sending out a driver to pick her up the first couple of days and then switch them.  Apparently the drivers get to choose their routes based on seniority.  Usually by the second week of school we would have her regular driver.

Depending on the driver they would strap her in or I would.  She has started securing her own seat belt this year.  She also undoes her seat belt and gets up this year too.  I usually watch out the window for the bus, but sometimes it is early or I am engrossed in something and I forget.  The bus driver lets Haley get off the bus and ring the doorbell on those occasions.  She loves that.

Haley's bus drivers have always loved her.  She loves to ride the bus.  She is never a problem.  She is quiet and sweet.  She does sit by herself though.  They have only put someone next to her once.  I don't know what happened but it didn't last a day.

A couple of years ago Haley had a bus driver that let the kids bring CD's onto the bus to listen to. He let them take turns. Haley loved that. She liked to bring her soundtrack CD's from The Road to El Dorado and Spirit Stallion of the Cimmaron.

Haley got on the bus this year with her CD in her hand. The bus driver just looked at me quizzically. I told her that her last bus driver let her listen to it and she agreed that it would be OK.  I actually prefer it.  If that CD wasn't in they would be listening to the radio.

This year Haley's bus driver really enjoys her. She loves her fashion sense and she thinks that she is funny.  I love it when she shares something about her day.  The aides sometimes tell the bus driver things that they don't write on the paper that comes home with her so it is just another way that I can stay informed.

Every year we try to get Haley to be social with her bus driver.  She has never used her bus drivers names, even though we talk about them at home.  This year she finally gets out of the bus and turns and waves goodbye. 

I really appreciate the short bus, it is much more than a means of transportation.  I think riding that little bus has been a big part of Haley's education.

1 comment:

  1. Tammy,

    My nephew Christopher also rides the short bus. Your stories of Haley is very similar to his - at times Christopher prefers to sing to his bus driver. Like Haley, he is lacking in social skills, but amazes all us in his own special way.

    Thanks for sharing your stories.




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